Change of Sunday Mass Times

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Change of Mass Times

Now that I am the Rector of Holy Trinity, Ramsgate, and St Andrew’s in Deal, I am working with a financial and work/time split of 50/50 in each parish, and it is proving problematic to keep continuity of pastoral care and support within both congregations when I am not in each parish Sunday by Sunday.

St Andrew’s Deal has been without a full-time priest for over five years, and now needs serious continuity and hands on leadership for what is a large congregation. Holy Trinity is slowly and thankfully emerging from the pandemic to normal service being resumed, and a gentle but growing attendance at our Sunday Mass and two weekday worship opportunities. You will also be pleased we are re-starting the Friday morning Coffee Open House at Holy Trinity from 10:30AM until 11:30AM which we hope will lead into Mass. I also hope to begin another extra weekday Mass at Deal within the next few weeks.

My other significant concern is that our team of retired priests is diminishing due to age and infirmity, thus after consultation, I have felt it crucial to adjust the service times in both Churches to allow me to be in each Church for the main Sunday Mass every week. This I hope will give the much needed regular and reliable continuity and the pastoral relationship required to cement a good rapport between priest and people in both our Churches.

I have made this executive decision after much prayer and thought, not least after consultation with our Churchwardens and Musical Directors. No one likes change or upheaval, but I believe that it is vital for the parish priest to be able to cover both services in the likely event of not having enough extra clerical support over every week of the year.

This will mean that as from Sunday September 5th our Mass times in both Churches will change.

The Parish Mass at Holy Trinity will be at 9:00AM followed by Coffee. We will keep the Mass strictly to one hour which will enable me to spend some quality time with the congregation over Coffee before setting off for St Andrew’s in Deal.

St Andrew’s Deal will have their Mass move to 11:00AM. Also, we will strictly keep this to one hour, this allowing time for Coffee/Wine or our monthly lunch on the first Sunday of the month at The Alma Hotel.

In an ideal world it would be good to have a full-time priest in both parishes, but the crisis occasioned by the Pandemic and the general crisis within the Church of England and our own financial situation makes this a necessity.

The priest is not just a service taker!  His role is that of “presider” over the Eucharistic Community. Each of us is challenged to both worship God and serve each other in the liturgy. Remember, the word liturgy means service for the people and God.

It would be an understatement to say that the Mass is complex. There are intimate moments designed for peace, personal prayer, and sacred silence. There are also moments for celebration, exultation, and community. Both provide incredible opportunities to experience God’s real presence and to worship Him. Some people find the greatness of the liturgy in its intimacy and silence, while others find it in the communal and social aspects.

As the Sunday Parish Mass is a place for all of God’s people, we must strive to serve each other by providing a liturgy which accomplishes all these things, and that it why I feel as your parish priest and pastor I need to be in attendance week by week. This of course does not mean we totally retire our active retired priests, far from it, but this new pattern of worship will allow me to share preaching and concelebration as well as presiding with my brother priests, but without overburdening them.

Please work with me to bring about the best model of priestly leadership within the constraints we have in place to allow growth and consolidation within our two amazing Churches.

Fr Paul